Mike White and the Florida Gators have parted ways from each other, the team announced Sunday evening. White will now take over as the head men’s basketball coach at the University of Georgia.
Exciting day in Athens!
— Georgia Bulldogs (@UGAAthletics) March 13, 2022
In an unexpected turn of events, Athletic Director Scott Strickland and the Gators will search for their next head coach. This comes days after Florida was eliminated in the SEC Men’s Basketball Tournament in Tampa.
White Heads to Athens
After a regular season in which Georgia finished last in the SEC, the Bulldogs fired coach Tom Crean. The Bulldogs finished the year with a 6-26 record which included a 12-game losing streak. Now, with White becoming their next head coach, Georgia’s future looks bright as the former Gator head man enters Athens with a track record of postseason success.
Prior to this year, Florida managed four consecutive NCAA Tournament bids after their 2016 run in the NIT quarterfinals, including a trip to the Elite Eight in 2017.
The Gators men’s basketball program been on a roller coaster run in the last seven years under White’s lead. Although the Gators made the NCAA Tournament a lot of times under White, they did not advance past the second round since their last Elite Eight appearance.
The 45-year old took over at Florida after Billy Donavan left to coach in the NBA with the Chicago Bulls. Despite coming off four straight trips to March Madness, this year has been rough for White and the Gators.
Florida finished the regular season with a 19-13 record and the team fought off numerous injuries and inconsistency throughout most of the season. The Gators lost in the second round of the SEC Tournament to Texas A and M 83-80 in overtime t end their season. Questions of White’s job security swirled among Gator fans all season long as some questioned some head scratching losses and in consistent play.
— Florida Gators Men’s Basketball (@GatorsMBK) March 10, 2022
Florida Athletic Director released a short statement concerning on Mike White.
“Mike White informed me this afternoon that he was accepting another job. It’s been a pleasure having Mike, Kira and the White family with us in Gainesville, and we wish them well. They are a wonderful family who always represented the Gators in a first-class manner.
With White out, the Gators will more than likely play in the NIT under the coaching of interim head coach Al Pinkins.
Scott Stricklin on the search for the next head coach.
“The search for the next Gator men’s basketball coach has already begun, and I look forward to identifying a leader who will embody the UAA’s vision of providing a championship experience with integrity.”